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HomeAlice Springs News, Issue 25, August 1, 2011Melanka block on the market again

Melanka block on the market again

The site of the former Melanka hostel in Todd Street is on the market again, for an asking price of $7.5m plus GST, this time complete with an exceptional development permit for a five storey “tourist and residential complex”.
The land was bought in 2006 for $6.12m. The hostel was still in place but has been demolished since.
The land’s unimproved capital value in July, 2009 was $4.5m.
The raising of the height limit from three storeys to five was opposed by some sections of the community.
L J Hooker’s Doug Fraser says the fresh advertising of the property has only just started, and although there have been a couple of enquiries, it’s likely to take some time for a sale to be achieved.
Mr Fraser said in June that the developer, Christian Ainsworth, a member of the poker machines dynasty, had commissioned Deloittes to assist in the development and that “the building costs will need to come down”.
The total area is 1.3 hectares and “architectural plans will be passing with the sale,” says the promotion.
The agency says this is a “prime corner allotment with three street frontages and adjoining parcel at rear … and numerous fully established trees on site”.


  1. What an absolute tragedy for Alice Springs! This whole facile episode has finally degenerated to a throwing up of hands but not until some 400 rooms have been removed from the town’s economy. And let’s not heap all the responsibility for this monumental failure on the developer. Idiotic over the top, over regulated bureaucracy played a big part in the failure of this project to get off the ground as it has with just about every project proposed for Alice in recent times. You can lay this failure squarely at the NT Government’s door. What an absolute disgrace!

  2. n1. I’m delighted by this turn of events, I think this presents us with an excellent opportunity to really think about what this town needs to develop and prosper rather than cater for the immediate short term needs of developers and the construction industry.
    Last week I highlighted on ABC Radio how the Melanka site would be a superb location for an Aboriginal cultural centre of national significance – it’s located adjacent to the town’s heritage precinct, and is on a direct line between two of the town’s most significant sacred sites, namely the much maligned yet highly under-rated Billygoat Hill to the west, and Meyers’ Hill (formerly Nannygoat Hill) to the east at the Olive Pink Botanic Garden.
    It’s not a new idea, of course – like so many things, it takes ages to get anything done in this region. But the Melanka site presents an excellent opportunity to create something of lasting benefit to this town.
    Alex Nelson
    Alice Springs


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